Documentation Requirements

 


The Disability Services Office serves students with all types of disabilities, including physical, learning, and psychological disabilities. To be eligible for services from the Disability Services Office, a student must provide written documentation from qualified professionals on their letterhead as follows:

Physical Disabilities:

  • A recent letter from a qualified physician or certified rehabilitation counselor that includes:

  • A diagnosis of the physical condition or illness.

  • A description of the functional limitations as a result of the condition or side effects of the required medications. This description must establish a substantial limitation in a major life activity.

  • A summary of the recommendations for accommodation at the post-secondary level.

  • Any pertinent background information about the disability or medical condition that will assist the University in assessing whether to grant the requested accommodation.

  • Whether the duration of the student's medical condition is temporary or permanent.

 

Learning Disabilities:

A recent psychoeducational or psychoneurological report by a certified and licensed psychologist, social worker or rehabilitation counselor that includes:

  • A summary of a comprehensive diagnostic interview.

  • An assessment of the student that provides clear and specific evidence that a learning disability exists. The assessment should consist of and be based on a comprehensive assessment battery that does not rely on any one test or subtest. The student's aptitude, academic achievement, and information-processing skills should be specifically addressed in the test battery. The assessment should include a list of the tests performed.

  • A recent diagnosis. Individual "learning styles,” "academic problems” and "test difficulty or anxiety,” in and of themselves, generally do not constitute a learning disability. The diagnostician is encouraged to use direct language in the diagnosis and documentation of a learning disability, avoiding the use of terms such as "suggests” or "is indicative of.”

  • Standard scores and/or percentiles should be provided for normal measures. The data should logically reflect a substantial limitation in learning for which the student is requesting the accommodation.

Clinical summary that includes:

  • An indication of how patterns in the student's cognitive ability, achievement, and information processing reflect the presence of a learning disability.

  • An indication of the substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity presented by the learning disability and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

  •  An indication as to why specific accommodations are needed and how the effects of the specific disability can be accommodated.

  • A summary of recommendations for accommodations at the post-secondary level, including the rationale for why they must be provided. Include a discussion of previous accommodations. If accommodations were not provided in the past, include a detailed explanation as to why none were used and why they are needed at this time.

NOTE: Students who received services at a previous educational institution should also submit their Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) and transition plans that include a summary of accommodations needed at the college level. School plans (IEP or 504 plan) may not be sufficient in and of themselves, but should accompany the comprehensive assessment battery (if applicable).

Attention Deficit or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder:

Current and comprehensive documentation of the disorder from the diagnosing physician, psychiatrist or psychologist. This documentation should include:

  • DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV) diagnosis, date of diagnosis and last contact with student.

  • Description of symptoms that meet the criteria for this diagnosis.

  • Instruments and procedures that were used to diagnose the ADD/ADHD. Attach the diagnostic report.

  • An indication of the substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity presented by the ADD or ADHD, and the degree to which the disorder impacts the student in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

  • Current medication, dosage and frequency.

  • Recommendations for accommodations at the post-secondary level as related to the functional limitations of the diagnosis, including the rationale for why they must be provided. Include a discussion of previous accommodations. If accommodations were not provided in the past, include a detailed explanation as to why none were used and why they are needed at this time.

Psychological Disabilities:

Current and comprehensive documentation of the disorder from the diagnosing psychiatrist or psychologist. This documentation should include:

  • DSM IV diagnosis, date of diagnosis and last contact with student.

  • Description of symptoms that meet the criteria for this diagnosis.

  • Instruments and procedures that were used to diagnose the student. Attach the diagnostic report.

  • Current medication, dosage and frequency.

  • Indication of the substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity presented by the disorder and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

  • Recommendations regarding accommodations at the post-secondary level as related to the functional limitations of the diagnosis, including the rationale for why they must be provided. Include a discussion of previous accommodations. If accommodations were not provided in the past, include a detailed explanation as to why none were used and why they are needed at this time.

Disability Services Office
ph: 215.951.6830
fax: 215.951.2770
email: DisabilityServices@PhilaU.edu